Lodwar is the largest town in northwestern Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, located west of Lake Turkana
Lake Turkana
Lake Turkana , formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia. It is the world's largest permanent desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake...

 on the A1 road
A1 road (Kenya)
The A1 road is a long road in Kenya extending from the Tanzanian border to the Sudanese border.- Towns :The following towns, listed from south towards north, are located along the highway *Isebania *Migori*Awendo*Rongo*Kisii...

. Its main industries are basket weaving
Basket weaving
Basket weaving is the process of weaving unspun vegetable fibres into a basket or other similar form. People and artists who weave baskets are called basketmakers and basket weavers.Basketry is made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials•anything that will bend and form a shape...

 and tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

. The Loima Hills lie to its west. Lodwar is the capital of Turkana District
Turkana District
Turkana District is an administrative district in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Turkana is the northwesternmost district in Kenya. It is bordered by the countries of Uganda to the west; South Sudan and Ethiopia, including the disputed Ilemi Triangle, to the north and northeast; and Lake...

. The town has a population of 17,000.

According to the Insider’s guide to Kenya Lodwar’s history began around 1933 when a trader named Shah Mohamed, arrived on the banks of the Turkwell River. The roads were inaccessible so he brought the donkeys. He eventually built a permanent trading centre in Lodwar including a gas station. The district commissioner’s office was built followed by a small medical clinic and a government prison. Police headquarters were built in Lokitaung
Lokitaung is a settlement in Kenya's Rift Valley Province....

 as the tribal disputes were common in the area. During the 1960s, missionaries built schools in and around the town. Shah Mohamed opened several stores in the remote towns of this Turkana district because he was the only contractor and supplier to government departments, carried mail to the area, supplied and transported the goods for the Norwegian and Italian fish-canning projects on Lake Turkana (both projects eventually failed).

During the colonial period, Lodwar functioned as a transit point for British officials moving Kenyan political prisoners to the north. Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyattapron.] served as the first Prime Minister and President of Kenya. He is considered the founding father of the Kenyan nation....

, Kenya's first president, was restricted to house arrest for two years in Lodwar in 1959. The town had developed a reputation as an isolated outpost removed from in the rest of Kenya, but in recent years, Lodwar has expanded and gained commercial and economic prominence.

Lodwar is considered the capital of the region, housing local and governmental facilities, including Turkana’s biggest health facility and the main referral hospital, Lodwar District Hospital (LDH). It is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lodwar. The town is also served by Lodwar Airport
Lodwar Airport
-Location:Lodwar Airport is located in Turkana District, Rift Valley Province, in the town of Lodwar, in the northwestern part of the Republic of Kenya. Its location is approximately , by air, northwest of Nairobi International Airport, the country’s largest civilian airport...


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